Dawg Blog - Eastern Washington

We're starting to get near the end of the week, which means one thing - GAME DAY. So who is healthy enough to make it a go? Chris Polk? Quinton Richardson? Johri Fogerson? Maybe the Huskies are getting back a player that they may not have expected back so soon? Check the blog!

Chris Fetters
9/1/2011
6:02 pm


Greg Ducre (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Steve Sarkisian Thursday Quotes

On Polk - "I thought he looked pretty good today. It was non-padded, so it was just running and cutting. I thought he did a nice job."

Polk status
- "I'll decide tomorrow."

On Richardson
- "We let him rest today to try to really get the swelling and the soreness out of there. He'll be another one we'll decide tomorrow."

Other factors in Polk decision, other than just his health
- "I'm not going to go into that."

On Johri Fogerson - "Yeah, I think he can help. I think he can help us."

True freshmen who'll play - "Bishop Sankey's going to play for sure. A couple of the other guys, we're going to wait and see."

Updates on Marvin Hall or Antavius Sims - "No, not yet."

Why it's so important to 1-0 - "Because we haven't been. It's something that seems to make sense. We started off the last couple years with some tough first ball games and some really tough losses. You can start a year just like starting a game. You'd love to start it fast, as fast as you can and get off to a good start. And we weren't able to do that the last two years. That doesn't mean we can't finish well. We'd just like to get off to a really good start, and the best way to do that is to start 1-0. So it's been our rallying cry from Day 1 of this season, and it's been a goal of ours; it hasn't wavered until today. We're right on it the same way, and we know the value and importance of this ball game to start the season."

On the value of momentum - "Winning and losing are very similar in the sense that they are both contagious. Unfortunately when you lose a couple in a row, it becomes contagious and it gets a little harder to win. Winning is contagious as well, and once you get to start to win one, maybe two, maybe three in a row as we found out last year, that can be contagious as well, and it gets a little more difficult to lose. Momentum is momentum, and you love to get it on your side, and it does wonders for you locker room and your team's morale. It would be great to get off to a good start."

On what is going to allow them to get off to a fast start - "Being efficient, doing what we're supposed to do, playing with high energy…and when we have an opportunity to make our plays, we've been priding ourselves on being a physical football team. That won't change Saturday, but we need to be sound. We need to be right, and we need to be efficient. We need to be able to do that over an extended period of time, over multi-play drives. That will be critical for us Saturday."

On Keith Price being sharp on Thursday - "I think he's been sharp for about two weeks, really. He's just really tuned into our offense. He's got the ability to get to second and third reads in this system as if they are primary reads. He's eliminating reads quickly - sometimes at pre-snap. He's getting to secondary reads, and doing it accurately and efficiently and possessing a lot of leadership. He's had a great last two weeks, in my opinion."

On settling down the young players - "They just have to play. You get on the field and you start playing…the challenge, especially for young guys, is to not let plays harbor. They won't be perfect Saturday. I'm aware of that, I've seen true freshmen play before. They are going to do some good things, and they are going to make some mistakes, and you can't let those mistakes linger. You've got to be able to wipe the slate clean and go onto the next play - good or bad. That's always one of the biggest challenges for true freshmen, so it's something we've addressed with those guys earlier in the week, and we'll address it again as we get closer to game time, as well as in the game."

On why they initially moved Kelemete to offense? "We just didn't have enough linemen that fit the mold of what we were looking for. We are an offense that prides itself on athletic offensive linemen that can move and play in space and do the things we like to do with the zone-blocking scheme, pulling our tackles on some of the toss sweep stuff. So to get him on the offensive line was a natural fit for us."

Did you always see him as an offensive tackle? "First he was a guard. We thought he had a chance to be, but he was a defensive lineman so you didn't know. We had a huge need inside that first year. He's done a great job. He's still a little bit new to that position, so we are watching the maturation of him go on and on with him into year three. He's done a nice job."

On Greg Ducre: "I think he'll start but you'll see both of those kids playing. Greg is a natural corner. He's got great speed, good ball skills. The biggest thing for Greg is when you have an injury the year before is coming back and playing with that confidence when you are going full speed and tackling and bumping and running like we like to do. That will be something he's going to really, in my opinion, work through in the first quarter of that game Saturday. We've scrimmaged, we've gone hard and he's looked fine. But ultimately he's going to have to test that shoulder and put a helmet on somebody early in the game to really take that next step from a confidence standpoint.''

On how many defensive linemen could play Saturday: "I think I counted nine or 10, we are going to play a lot of them.''

On Semisi Tokalahi: "I think we will get him in there a little bit. Not expecting extended periods of play but I'd like to get him on the field for his own confidence.''

Is that ahead of schedule?: "No, that's about where we're at. Again, I don't foresee Semisi going out and playing 50-60 snaps like he was doing late in the year last year. But I'd like to see him get a handful of snaps in this game just so he can get back on the field and we'll see if we can make that happen.''

Anything else? "Thank you. See you Saturday.''

Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
9/1/2011
3:15 pm


Austin Seferian-Jenkins (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Austin Seferian-Jenkins Wednesday Quotes

On if this week feels different than any other: "You get more excited, I'm playing my first college football game, I think everyone is excited to actually play in a game, but the way we practice we just try to simulate going hard so besides the fact that we have a game Saturday, we always go hard. It felt like it came fast, it just felt like the other day I was in Spring-ball, just getting the plays under me and all of a sudden it's game week so it's exciting. It's a blessing being out here ready to play."

On if he has noticed anything different about the team this week: "We're just excited, excited to play Eastern Washington, a great team, so it's going to be fun."

On if he will have family at the game: "Yeah I got my mom, I got my dad, I got my sister, I got my aunt, I got my brother from Detroit so that's cool. A lot of family."

On if he remembers the emotion of the moment of games while attending last year: "Yeah I have come to a lot of games being a recruit knowing that it's going to be really loud, but I'm excited for that, it's fun, it's college football, to hear the loud stuff, to hear the crowd roaring, that's what I'm excited for. It's just knowing and getting prepared everyday that's why Coach Sark has the music blasting."



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
9/1/2011
2:58 pm


Colin Tanigawa (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Colin Tanigawa Wednesday Quotes

On if feels alright with the line calls: "Yeah, pretty good, going through spring ball and plus last year when I was redshirting you get a lot of time to learn about all this stuff so I feel pretty good."

On if there is any nerves before the first game: "There will be some there, we'll see on Saturday."

On if he knows what it may be like on the first snap and series: "No not really, I guess it'll be a surprise on Saturday."

On if he is surprised by the trust of the coaches: "Whatever they chose is the best thing if they wanted to go rotation or anything like that, but I was just going to play it out however they want to."

On Coach Cozzetto's trust in him: "Whenever we talked together about stuff he liked about me he said he liked my hand-speed, pass protection, and I like to stay low, especially since I'm the littlest of all the guys and getting off the ball and stuff like that."

On if he gets teased for being the smallest: "Not really, I don't get too much about it."

On if he envisioned starting as a freshman even though he wasn't highly recruited: "I don't know, who knows?"

On what he knows about Eastern's defensive tackle, Renard Williams: "I've seen that he's a good player, he gets off the ball quick and he has really good pass moves so I'm going to do my best on Saturday and see how it goes."



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
9/1/2011
2:36 pm


Jesse Callier (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Jesse Callier Wednesday Quotes

On how he feels about running with the ones and maybe getting his first start: "I'm still being myself I mean I can't wait, I'm excited most definitely but I'm still going out there the same way and being myself."

On wondering and not knowing if he'll start: "Not at all, if he (Chris Polk) plays then that's good for us most definitely, but if he doesn't then I'm willing to step up and I'm ready.

On how excited he is: "I'm just excited to be out there no matter who is out there."

On if potentially starting adds to the excitement: "I mean yeah a little bit, it's a lot of pressure, but I'm willing to take on it."

On how different the runs are for him now: "It's less fly-sweeps but like I told everyone else I'm used to running inside the tackles I did that all in high school so it's second nature for me."

On if it was nice to see Polk practice some today: "Yea definitely, it's always nice to see everyone healthy and get back on their feet."

On if he'd like to see Polk sit out a week or two to get healthy: "That's strictly him, whatever he decides, the coaches will get it all figured out."



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
9/1/2011
2:35 pm


James Johnson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

James Johnson Wednesday Quotes

On if last year's momentum can continue into this year: "Definitely, I think it's definitely motivation because so many people are saying you lost so many great guys like Mason Foster and Jake (Locker). I think we're out to prove that we're a great team and we have great guys here and we're more than a team than ever this year. We're very family oriented, we consider each other family and we look forward to going out there battling with one another for one another."

On bucking the slow-start trend the last couple years: "You always want to be better than you were last year and you want to be different than you were last year. Coach Sark has this saying that change is inevitable meaning you're getting better or you're getting worse. We would definitely like to be better than we were last year and push forward."

On having 1-0 on the team's mind: "It's not really on our minds, I know we break like that all the time, but you always want to win every single game. We want to go into every single game wanting to win and obviously with the first game we want to be 1-0 and we would like to start fast this year and finish great at the end. We're going to go out there and battle, give 100% every game and let the chips fall where they may.

On starting fast: "We want to go out there whether we're running it or passing it, we're going to have guys giving it 150% and if we do that I believe we'll be successful."

On advice for the young starters: "Just to play relaxed, we play at such a high tempo and fast tempo that honestly the game is a lot slower because of that. We got to credit that to our coaches who do a great job of preparing us throughout the week so I'd just tell our guys to go out there, study up, don't be nervous, relax and just have fun."

On if it's as easy as he says to go out and play in front of thousands of people: "My first college game, I was looking up in the sky and all you see is purple and it was against LSU so it's bit shocking at first. Once that ball snaps then all the nervousness goes away. You get you're first hit then you're just playing football again."

On his number being called on a lot again: "As far as that goes, I just try and come out here and give 110% every single day and take advantage of every opportunity that I get. Like I said we're family oriented, we got six wideouts who are going to be out there. We're all going to get our plays, we're all going to get our opportunities and you're going to see everybody running to the ball trying to give blocks for one another."



Talk about it: Here


Chris Fetters
8/31/2011
6:49 pm


Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Steve Sarkisian Wednesday Quotes

On Tanigawa not being phased by starting Saturday - "Colin now has been responding for a month straight. He's done a great job. I'm not concerned about him."

On what they liked about him - "We knew his high school really well from being down there in southern California - Loyola High School. He was always known as being a tough, nasty player, and he showed a lot of athleticism on film. And then when you get to know him and meet him and start talking to him, he's an extremely humble young man, very bright. The reality of it is, when you turn on the film and watch him play in person, he's a physical player."

On Chris Polk's status - "I thought Chris looked good today. We'll see how he responds tomorrow. We'll have to see how he responds tomorrow."

On Quinton Richardson's status - "Quinton was a little sore today after what he did yesterday. We'll see how he responds to it tomorrow after two days of it, but today he was a little sore."

On Johri Fogerson's status - "Johri got back going today, it was good for him to get out and running the ball."

On Richardson trying to go early, and having to have his ankle re-taped - "They tried a little bit of a different tape job on him…he wasn't going to go in team at all from pre-practice. We knew that that wasn't going to happen."

On the need to run and get out of pedal to be able to play cornerback? - "It's pretty helpful."

On throwing the young guys in the fire - "We never do that. We try to create scenarios for our young guys as much as we can and put them in as many stressful situations as we can in training camp and practice. So hopefully when those situations arise in games – I don't expect them to be perfect – but I do hope they feel a little bit more comfortable, knowing hey I've been in this two minute drill. I've been in this red zone drill. I've done this blitz drill. I've played man to man coverage against some really good receivers, or what not. We try our best to give them all the scenarios we can and make them as stressful and hard as possible so when they get into a ball game, it's not quite as hard."

On using last year's momentum heading into this year - "I don't know. There's not as much talk of it, for sure, in our own room. We used that in spring ball and at the start of fall camp, but right now it's about preparing really well. And there's a style of play we want to play with, without a doubt, the physicality, the style of defense. And to do that, sometimes you do lean a little bit on the past to give examples of it. But you can't just rely on living in the past to expect that's what we are going to become this fall. So what I appreciate about this team as much as anything is that every day they come to work. I think there's been one practice so far this camp that maybe I've been a little disappointed. I think today's was as spirited a practice as we've had since we've been going, since Aug. 9 or whatever day that was. I've been really impressed with this group. They are bringing it, and they are bringing it not because of who we were last year but who we are now."

On having a group before this consistently full of energy - "No, this is as good -- especially since we've been here -- this is as good as I've been around. These guys, they're goin'. They love competing with one another. It's a really good, healthy competition. It's not malicious in any way. They don't like losing, and they are going to battle and compete and have fun with one another through it all."

On noticing anything different with the frosh that might be playing, knowing it's game week - "Well, I thought today was both of their best practices of the week. Sometimes, it's game week and maybe a young guy thinks he has to change. And I thought maybe there was a little bit of that on Monday and then into Tuesday. But credit our coaches, they got them back today and they were as impressive as they've been in camp. I was impressed with that."

On creating turnovers today - "Yeah, 'Turnover Wednesday' again. It's about creating turnovers. And the defense definitely got one in the team session with Cort and I think another one there by Shamburger in the 7-on-7 drill."

Talk about it: Here


Chris Fetters
8/31/2011
6:40 pm


Chris Polk (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Quick Wednesday Practice Notes

Nice day out Wednesday, Sark said after practice it was one of the most spirited ones they've had all fall - and he said there was probably one practice all fall he wasn't totally thrilled with, so they got a lot of good work done.

It was 'Turnover Wednesday', and Cort Dennison came up with another pick-six off of the first team offense, but it wasn't the best pick of the day. That came from Will Shamburger, who was able to corral a bouncing ball in the end zone while trying to make sure he avoided falling over a wide receiver. It was a very acrobatic play.

It wasn't all defense, however. Keith Price had nice back-to-back strikes to Jermaine Kearse for scores, and Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins continue to provide evidence that there's been a significant uptick in the overall team athleticism. Williams had a brilliant one handed stab while running down the sidelines. Normally you'd wonder if a true frosh can translate those kinds of thrilling catches in a game, but not with Williams. We've just seen it too many times before at Skyline.

And Seferian-Jenkins, he had one play where he came back to a pass, had the patience to watch Andrew Hudson's momentum take him out of the play, and then quickly cut upfield for big yardage.

On Chris Polk's status - "I thought Chris looked good today. We'll see how he responds tomorrow. We'll have to see how he responds tomorrow." Polk worked every period, including the service periods, except for the final team scrimmage.

On Quinton Richardson's status - "Quinton was a little sore today after what he did yesterday. We'll see how he responds to it tomorrow after two days of it, but today he was a little sore." Richardson did some of the one-on-ones, but then shut it down the rest of practice.

On Johri Fogerson's status - "Johri got back going today, it was good for him to get out and running the ball." Johri appeared to make it through the full practice without any issues.

Polk was the only one in red. Just based on today's observations, I'd say Richardson is the least likely to play of the three, but all three have a shot at some playing time.

I'll have Sark's quotes up in a little bit.

Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
8/31/2011
12:00 am


Nick Holt (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Nick Holt Tuesday Quotes

On Quentin Richardson: "Looks like he's coming back pretty good but we don't know. It'll take a couple more days, but it's only Tuesday though. If he's ready to go, he'll play."

On what he would need to see to play him Saturday: "Run full speed, I don't know when he can run full speed. I'm not sure about that, just have to ask the trainers and see how he feels."

On how confident he is in backup Greg Ducre: "Oh, I'm confident, he's had a bunch of reps, he's going to play and he's had a nice last couple days of practice and he'll be ready to play. Whoever we throw out there will be ready to play."

On how far Ducre has come since last season: "He's a little heavier, he's stronger, he knows what he's doing. He's a lot better than last year because he's got a lot more experience and he's been around us for a whole year now."

On some of the challenges Eastern poses offensively: "I think throwing the ball all over the place, having four wides and having a good quarterback that's accurate and a bunch of receivers that can catch the ball. They have a lot of starters back that moved the ball on everybody last year, they won a lot of games. Whenever you have a really good quarterback and a good offense and you spread it out, it makes it hard on defenses, it really does. And, they get the ball off so quickly, so it's going to be a challenge."

On any advantages or disadvantages to playing this type of offense the first game: "I don't know about that. The first two opponents play a lot of four receiver formations so they're very similar so maybe that will help us just in our preparation the next two weeks, but we're not looking forward to anything really. We're not looking to three weeks down the line or four weeks down the line, we're looking at this game and they pose plenty of problems."

On if the success on defense at the end of last season will carry over into this season: "I hope we pick up where we've left off. We got a lot of returners but we do have a couple young guys at a couple of positions that are key, but they've had good fall camps. We just keep getting better like we have the last two years and hopefully it shows on Saturday."

On starting more quickly than the past two years: "I think it's been the whole process. First year we hadn't been around, the second year they just got a little bit better every week and then this year. I think it's the whole process of doing some of the same principles and the same coaching week in and week out and then just getting better at their stuff and more experienced."

On the impact of a pass rush against a quick throwing offense like Eastern: "A lot of quick stuff, but hopefully we can generate some pass rush, but they do get it off so quickly and they have a lot of screens and some draws to offset your pass rush and things like that. Hopefully we can generate something that might not get sacks but at least you got to hurry some throws and things like that and be disruptive, but we'll have to wait and see.



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
8/31/2011
12:00 am


John Timu (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

John Timu Tuesday Quotes


On if he expects to play in space a lot this Saturday because of Eastern's spread offense:
"Oh yeah, I'm going to be trying to reroute the best I can, but they do like a lot of draws so we got to be able to play the run at the same time. It is a little difficult but it's nothing new that we haven't seen."

On what offense he ran as a quarterback in high school: "Zone read, option spread. The game of football is evolving so everyone is trying out the spread offense."

On his biggest challenge before the game: "Just nerves, we're doing a good job with preparation in practice and bringing energy and passion everyday but its just nerves, I got to fight that, but once I get that first hit, it's on."

On his reaction after he was told his enrollment would be delayed due to his injury: "Coach Nansen, I thought he did a good job of telling me earlier, right when the injury happened that they were going to greyshirt me. They told me when I was home so that was the best thing for me and turns out it was."

On what he did to get bigger after his senior year: "I was trying to do a little rehab on my own, whatever I thought was comfortable for me – doing single leg squats, calf raises, and then later on it helped out. Two weeks after surgery I tried out for volleyball as a lot of people know so I thought it helped out for me, so here I am."

On how much volleyball he played: "I played a whole season, about ten or fifteen games."

On what position Washington told him he might be playing: "I was recruited as a safety, at the time I was 195, 190 (lbs) so came in got injured, took that long break, next thing you know I'm 230."

On if he thought he would come in and start, even with coming in early in the spring: "There were thoughts about it, but I didn't know it would happen. The following year (post graduating) and the spring helped out."

On if he is surprised as to where he's at: "Oh yeah, everyday. I used to watch college football and wish that I was one of those guys and here I am, I am one of those guys so it's exciting."



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
8/31/2011
12:00 am


Justin Glenn (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Justin Glenn Tuesday Quotes


On how he's feeling:
"Feeling good, game-week, excited to get back out there, ready to go."

On almost being the forgotten man: "I always in my mind knew I could compete at this level so it just took me a little longer to get back out there and show what I can do, but I'm ready to go this year."

On preferring Nickel-corner or safety: "Anything, I just want to help the team win. If I'm out on the field I'm having fun."

On how scared he was after getting hurt in the off-season: "When it first happened I was a little over-reacting just because of the history with my ankle but it ended up just being a sprained foot. It wasn't even my ankle it was my foot. It's still a little sore here and there but it's nothing that is going to hold me back from playing. I'm a junior, I got to get out there now, time's ticking.

On how long it has been since he saw the field: "On special teams last year and a little bit at safety but as far as reps after reps after reps it's been a while but I'm ready to go now. Husky Stadium is going to be rocking this Saturday and there's nothing like it."

On how many guys he knows at Eastern: "I didn't play with any of them but I know just trough football ties all these guys in Washington. I know some of their receivers and defensive guys and they've been talking a little bit, but it's nothing. It's all fun until we get out there on Saturday and see what goes down."

On the chirping from Eastern that he has heard: "I've heard some stuff said, but every team should think that they're going to win the game it's not like you should go in there scared or anything. We respect them, they're a great football team and we know what they can do. We've been watching their film from last year and they're national champs and we got to be ready to go just as they do.

On his impressions on some of the new guys: "The more depth and more athletes that can get out on the field, the better."



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
8/31/2011
12:00 am


Alameda Ta'amu (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Alameda Ta'amu Tuesday Quotes


On how hard it's been adjusting to the "club" he has on his hand:
"Not hard, I guess just another weapon now."

On not being too reckless with it on Saturday: "No not too reckless, but I don't know if I'll wear it on Saturday."

On if there's a chance we'll see his fingers come gametime: "Yeah, for sure."

On how the depth on the defensive line helps his game: "It helps not just me, but the other guys who go 100% all the time. I'd rather have somebody who's well rested behind me because they will play better than me when I'm playing at 60 or 75(%) so more rest that way we can get after the offensive line better."

On how much he thinks he'll play: "I'm not sure, at practice we go ones and the twos, we go five then they go five (snaps)."

On if the team can take the "next step" after the Holiday Bowl victory: "I feel we're a better team. Everybody works with each other and everyone feels comfortable. When everybody works together like that I feel like we'll be better."

On getting to hit somebody else for a change: "You get tired of playing the same guys because you start knowing every move they do and we start knowing every move. One day we dominate them and as months go by they start playing back and then it's like they know what you're going to do so you get frustrated, but I think it makes us better.

On if he knows anybody on Eastern's team: "No I don't know anybody over there except for Demetrius Bronson."

On if he keeps in touch with Bronson: "He's one of my good friends and he said he's fighting for a starting spot so best of luck to him."



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
8/31/2011
12:00 am


Mike Cox (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Mike Cox Tuesday Quotes


On how comfortable he is with the guys other than Cort:
"We don't have a choice, they're doing fine. I'm excited to watch them play and see where we're at and go from there. I'm excited about it."

On Eastern's spread offense forcing the young linebackers into one-on-one situations: "I'm not worried about that we have athletic guys. They do a good job in what they do so I'm sure they're going to create and find their mismatches and we're going to have to do a good job in getting our guys out of those situations."

On rotating the linebackers after being set with basically just the three last year: "We'll see how it goes. We have confidence putting those guys in. Garret Gillliland has played football, Thomas Tutogi is ready to get in the game, and Jamaal Kearse and Cooper Pelluer and all those guys should all play. There's not just three guys and that's it. One of the things you like to do is build depth through experience as well."

On if Gilliland is moving around or settling in at one position: "He's played a couple different spots and that's one way to kind of give you some more depth as well is to have a guy know a couple different spots. He's pretty versatile."

On if he's surprised by John Timu: "Not really because I had seen him during recruiting season, he didn't surprise me at all but I'm happy with him and I'm happy with his progress, we'll see how he does in the game. He's a very good athlete, he's able to pick things up in a hurry, we'll see how he does when the lights are on."

On if Timu will be better against the run: "I think he's one of those guys that can be good against both. I really do."

On if Fuimaono will be better against the run: "Same, they're (Timu and Fuimaono) similar bodies, similar players."

On this being the youngest group he's had: "Well it is, but I don't let anybody give me opinions until I see it for myself. In that first group (2009) I had guys telling me who were our best players who weren't and guys who weren't ended up being our better players. That first year we were extremely young as far as knowing the scheme and us and the situation. These guys have been around. Good thing with Johnny he has been with us this past spring as well as the fall. Last year we were fairly young because Victor Aiyewa moved over and he started right there in the fall. He didn't go through spring practice – he was hurt. Princeton has been in this system for a year now and knows what we're doing. Hopefully they'll play fast and go like crazy on Saturday."

On how Cooper Pelluer is coming along: "Fine, I think he's healthy."

On anything he is looking for on Saturday: "No, let's have some fun, let it rip and go play."



Talk about it: Here


Eric Dore
8/31/2011
12:00 am


Jeff Mills (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Jeff Mills Tuesday Quotes


On playing an offense like Eastern that will force the defense to rotate in a lot of guys:
"It's a first great test for us. We get the first exam on Saturday. We're going to be challenged to the utmost and we got to come compete every game and every day and they have been. I really believe when you work hard good things happen and guys have been working hard, but I'm sure they've been working hard so it'll be a great competition."

On playing against the spread: "We're going to be challenged in the open field, open spaces with our tackling which is one of the key things we're talking about, then our zone coverage, our man coverage and doing what we're supposed to do. It always comes down to making sure that we're trustworthy, accountable to do our job, which is stay on top, defend the deep ball first and play with great effort. I think these guys will, these guys are excited. As they say, it's finally time to play and see where we're at."

On if he remembers any of Eastern's guys considering he recruits a sizeable area in Washington: "I'm thinking back a few years now, I think he's a fifth year senior, but Tyler Hart is one of their receivers. When I was at Idaho, I recruited him, I was in his home. I think I ended up moving on to Ohio, but great young man, very good athlete out there out of Friday Harbor. I remember taking the ferry to visit him, great family, but there's other names and faces that I recognize and they have always done a great job in this state of recruiting in my opinion. In my experience of being in the Big Sky Conference and being at Idaho two different times and having a lot exposure to their recruiting, they did a great job of finding guys and evaluating too – the big, rangy tight ends that would develop into offensive linemen. You look at some of the great offensive linemen they've had over the years they've developed and they're great players. They're athletes, multiple sport athletes similar to what we look for. Guys that play basketball, guys that run track. A lot of familiar names though. They do as good of job scouring to find the guys that are poised to break into the next step. They're a division-one program bottom-line."

On any coaching connections he has with Eastern's staff: "I don't know that staff that well. I did ride back from the coaching convention this winter from them after they won the National Convention so I got to say hi to a bunch of them, great group of guys. I got to say hi to Coach Baldwin, but I don't know them. I don't know them personally."

On if he followed Eastern through their championship run: "Yeah I did. The respect I've had for them having been in that conference, knowing the job that they do I was rooting for them all the way down the stretch. Like I said when I saw them at the coaching convention and on the flight home it was fun just to be around them and congratulate them. You got to do a great job and put it all together to win a national championship. Credit to them, they're an outstanding group of coaches."

On his thoughts about finally playing an instate team like an Eastern Washington: "I think it's great for the state. It's great for their families – all these in state players they have on their roster, there's a lot of guys from the west-side that are on that roster so it's great. It's always fun when we play against an instate rival or instate team. Whether we play Washington State or whether we play Eastern Washington I think it's good for the state.



Talk about it: Here


Chris Fetters
8/30/2011
6:15 pm


Quinton Richardson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Quick Tuesday Practice Notes

Chris Polk and Johri Fogerson did not practice again today, but were running on the sidelines, and Fogerson also did stairs. Because coach Sark isn't available to the media today, we won't know his thoughts on their progress until tomorrow after practice.

Quinton Richardson again practiced the full day, and even though he had a noticeable limp at times, he made it through the practice intact, and I would expect to see him play Saturday at the rate he's going. He's getting his work in, so unless he suffers a setback to his ankle, I think he will play against EWU.

It appears as if they found a purple 54 jersey for Tim Tucker, as he played fullback again for the second-straight day. It also looks like there may have been a position change for RS frosh LB Cooper Pelluer, who worked at the MIK spot, flanked by Matt Lyons at the SAM and Scott Lawyer at the WIL. Again, we will talk to Sark to find out if they are simply trying to get film of Cooper inside, or if that is a permanent switch.

Erik Folk had a very nice day kicking the ball, going 5-6 from 45 yards and out, with a long of 52.

Kalani Aldrich was at practice today, as was another former Dawg, Hall of Famer Warren Moon.

We spoke with Nick Holt, Jeff Mills, Mike Cox, Alameda Ta'amu, John Timu, and Justin Glenn, and will have those interviews up later tonight.




Chris Fetters
8/30/2011
11:45 am

Steve Sarkisian Tuesday Pac-12 Teleconference Notes:

Price and comfort level - Two things. 1) He was prepared mentally to execute in the few moments he was asked to perform. 2) The stage wasn't too big for him. Cited USC, Oregon, Holiday Bowl as places where he stepped in and performed.

Comparing Price to someone from the past
- Reminds him of Charlie Ward. Good feel for the game, former hooper. Great awareness, great command and understanding of the offense.

On the nasty on the OL - It's as good as it's been since we've been here. Senio, addition of Tanigawa - who brings a nasty factor, Schaefer, Porter and Kohler - the nasty also comes with experience. Have developed it along the OL. And coach Cozzetto likes linemen with some nasty, so they've recruited for it.

On Price being the first QB in his system at UW - It's a huge deal for me. Grew up in the system, and knows nothing else from the first day he got to UW. Doesn't know any different.

Chris Polk - Ran around pretty good yesterday. Find out how he responds today.

On EWU - Good football team, led by their QB Bo Levi Mitchell. Has big WR's and return four of five starting OL. On defense, led by Renard Williams and the Johnson brothers. Anchored right down the middle of their defense. They are a very opportunistic defense. They have that type of mentality. They will play hard, be well-coached, and give us everything we want.

On the regional game
- Anytime you can bring two state teams together and celebrate the football from Washington, it's a great thing. Tremendous challenge. Expect us to play hard and smart, and it's going to be a great game.

On what excites you about this team - How close they are, because that allows them to experience it together, have fun together, but also challenge each other. That's how you win games in the fourth quarter.

On the QB position changing - Putting more on the QB in general…changing plays, protections, and then to run the ball. The best football players are again playing QB, because you're asking so much of them.

On the QB and increased pressure - More teams are going to offenses centered around the QB, where they are also the leading rusher and passer. If you are going to be a good football team, you have to have good football play.

On the QB option game dying - Still seeing it some with the service academies, but the game has evolved. It's a throwing game right now. In NFL, 70-30 throwing the ball. Don't know how long that trend will continue.

On Hauoli Jamora - Love him, one of my favorite players. Tremendous work ethic. Up to 260 pounds. Determined young man, expecting a lot from him. Got steadily better last year as season went on. Tough for a true freshman, but the preparation for the Holiday Bowl was great, because it allowed him to get back to fundamentals.

On a team in the league that might be overlooked - Team that stands out to me and might be overlooked is USC, maybe because they can't play in the Championship game. Still really good, and it's going to be hard for whoever plays them, week-in and week-out.


Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm

Eastern Washington University Football Weekly Press Release:

To view the release, click on the link: Season Begins in Familiar Locale for Many Eagles.

To view the complete release, including depth chart and full statistics, click on the link: Full EWU Football Weekly Release (.PDF file, requires Acrobat Reader)


Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm

Steve Sarkisian Coach's Show Recap:

Sark was able to race up from practice to make it in time for the intro. Bob and Gas amazed he could do it - Sark said he was faking it, and that he's really tired.

Bob talked about building on the end of last year - Sark said that there's so much going on last year. Great run last year. For the seniors to keep the team together was great. Want to build off the momentum, but can't just expect that wave to carry them through this year. This team has to find its own identity.

This team is primed for a nice run. Have to prove it, but Sark loves what they've done to get to this point.

Gas talked about the loss of Locker - Sark said there's always some new and old...get Polk back, with Callier as complement. Get Kearse and Aguilar back, as well as all the experienced OL.

Have to fill in some gaps, and key is at QB. Said early on Price was probably trying too hard, but he's settled in nicely. Add the three TE's, as well as a new LG in Colin Tanigawa, and the team will be different.

But all six WR's will play, which will allow guys like Kearse to stay fresh.

Bob asked about Polk - Sark said that realistically he could be back Wednesday. They did a lot of cutting drills with him Monday, and he looked great doing it. Now they'll wait to see how the knee responds from that work Tuesday. And this is not just about EWU; Sark wants him to be healthy enough so the litmus test is that he would be ready to play no matter what. But worst case, he wants Polk to be 100 percent going into the real grind of the season.

Bob reiterated that it was surgery, and Sark said that the issues he has had with his knee - there is no pain with the knee, just the swelling. That came from the surgery. That's how the body responds. Tuesday is a big day to see how the body responds.

Bob talked about the remaining RB's - Sark said that honestly, he doesn't feel bad about the fact that theoretically it could be just Callier and Sankey available for EWU. Sankey has done nothing to disappoint in fall camp. He's still hopeful to get Polk and Fogerson back, but he's very comfortable if it's just Callier and Sankey against the Eagles. If Sankey plays Saturday, that means he'll be playing all season long, and they'll try to get him as many carries as possible doing a number of different things. Brought the show back with Price's TD to Chris Izbicki against USC. Sark said it's a special moment, especially when your first career completion was a touchdown.

Bob talked about Price and how he's always smiling, having fun. Sark said that his personality is infectious. He brings a different attitude that maybe they haven't had before. He had fun because he knows he's prepared. He's done his homework, so he enjoys what he does - and that has rubbed off on his teammates. Team is very close-knit, and Price is one of the reasons for that.

Bob talked about how Price sleeps with a football. How ready is he? Sark said he's ready. It's all about preparation, and he's done it the right way. He's playing at a high level, but invariably you have to go out and play the game.

Bob talked about throwing the whole playbook at him. Sark said he's got a good amount of the car all to himself. He said that Nuss and the other coaches have identified what he does well and what he can handle mentally and physically, and have created packages around him. He's played at a high level the last two weeks with a significant amount of the playbook installed.

He does a nice job of getting the group into the right play. Secondly, he has a very quick release. It's as good as Sark has seen. And he also surveys the field well.

Bob asked if teams will respect Price like they did Locker - Sark doesn't think that. They are two different players. Price is just under 200 pounds (197). He won't be running anyone over, but that doesn't mean he can't run. He'll avoid hits, things in the pocket, and will bide time. He won't out-run guys like Jake did in the open field. That said, teams will respect him because he can beat you in other ways.

Bob asked about arm strength - Sark said that he's got the throws. That was part of the information they needed to gather, and he can make the throws.

Gas asked about picking one QB, instead of rotating - Sark said they won't rotate QB's or give them series. He said if that happened to him when he was playing at BYU, it would put thoughts in his mind and probably make him press. He believes in picking a guy, and sticking with him. Gas brought the show back talking about depth, and Sark said that when you assess the Pac-12, you can't just play your ones all the way through. Each team will tax your depth, so they are going to start from day one of the EWU game to roll in depth. That way their depth will have some experience and seasoning by the time the meat of the conference schedule hits.

Bob talked about the depth of the WR corps, led by Jermaine Kearse and frosh Kasen Williams - Sark said he loves the group. Have six legit players - starts with the seniors, then Kevin Smith, DiAndre Campbell, re-emergence of James Johnson, and then Kasen. Said at times they got tired last year, led to drops. Not a lack of want-to, just fatigue. If they can rotate them, will keep them fresh for the whole season.

Bob also mentioned using Kasen as a PR - Sark said he doesn't want to wait to long to use him, because then the anticipation kills everybody. Devin has done a great job for them, but Kasen could provide a big-play threat.

Bob mentioned how the PR unit averaged 4 yards a punt last year and how they haven't blocked a punt since Sark has been here, and Sark agreed both those areas have to become a factor. Too talented not to get benefits in those areas, and they've emphasized them this fall.

The punting battle - Sark said there will be opportunities for both Rasp and Mahan. Depends on the type of punts they want to use. Both have kicked the ball well, and they've earned the right to play this fall.

PK - Bob said Folk might have something to prove after tailing off at the end of last year. Sark said he had such a good sophomore season, and now he's come back with a vengeance. Said he's kicked 4-5 from over 50 yards in fall camp. Gas brought the show back, talking defense. Sark said it starts up front with the DL. When they go Saturday, they are going to play 10 DL - way better than they've ever been. For guys like Ta'amu to get breaks early is huge. They are three-deep at LB. Hopefully get Richardson back, but tons of depth at safety. It's big for them, because when you go into the season and you play no-huddle and high-tempo teams, it's going to be huge to have a lot of players they can use with experience.

Bob talked about Desmond Trufant - Sark said he's had a fantastic camp. Said he doesn't know if they completed a pass on him for a couple weeks. He's playing with utmost confidence and maximizes his opportunities. He was the MVP of fall camp.

Bob talked about Quinton - Sark said he's definitely not 100 percent, probably about 80-85 percent. With high ankle sprains, it's tough. Wanted to get him out there today to see how the ankle responds tomorrow. He did a nice job of battling to give them a gauge as to where he's at, and maybe it gave him some confidence to know he's close to being back to 100 percent.

Bob talked about how important it is to have the depth at corner, and Sark agreed. Need to play more man, which is allowing them to do more defensively.

Bob talked about the LB's, and the loss of Mason Foster. He called him the steal of the NFL Draft. Dennison comes back, but Fuimaono and Timu very young. Sark said they wouldn't be in those positions if they hadn't earned it. Dennison will get them lined up. Timu's future is so bright. He was a QB in high school. Brings a lot of versatility to the position. Fui is the old-school football player, an instinctual player. Add Garret Gilliland, Jamaal Kearse, Thomas Tutogi to that mix, and then it's an athletic group - but Dennison will make them tick. He was fourth in the league in tackles last year.

Bob talked about EWU and how he expects they would have bullseyes on youngsters like Fuimaono and Timu, and Sark said probably. You have to go out and play the game. Back from break, and Gas talked about dominanating...Sark said it's been a mantra. There's the respect factor, but when there's a chance to dominating, they have to take advantage. Used Kearse as an example. Saw it late in the season, trying to build on it.

Dave in Port Orchard on phone - Said he was the first caller on his first show in 2009, said he connected with him immediately. Said that when USC comes calling, he has the chance to be the Joe Paterno of UW...Sark said he won't be coaching in his 80's (laughs). Dave also gave him a play to use 'for the bank' - wheel route.

Gas talks about how the staff has always appreciated the opportunity here from the beginning. Sark said that he was hopeful during the initial press conference that it wouldn't take long, and it's worked out. Said there's been times when he's wanted to be better, but those were character-building moments.

Bob talked about the chance to go 1-0 for the first time since he's been here. First FCS team UW has ever faced. Defending FCS National Champs, and voted to repeat. They'll look at this as a great opportunity. Sark said they are going to play hard. Well coached, and very opportunistic. They did that during the playoffs. Challenge for UW is to do things right, to not have penalties. They are too good to just give them football plays. That's a focus all week long.

Bob talked about the comeback EWU had against Delaware in the Championship game, when they were down 19-0, and came back to win. Gas talked more about playing an FCS team. Mentioned App State game, James Madison beating VTech - Sark said for UW, it was an easy motivator. Defending national champs, pre-season No. 1, a lot of the in-state kids have played against a lot of the in-state kids at EWU. There's a sense of urgency.

Bob talked about the Pac-12 conference and rule changes - like taking a TD away from you for taunting. Sark said he doesn't like it at all. One of the beauties of college football is that the players have put in so much time and effort - and he's not worried about the guys that score a lot of touchdowns, but what about a defensive end or linebacker who doesn't taunt but overcelebrates because he's never scored before? He said hopefully we don't make that mistake, but if someone else does they can learn from it.

Finished out with a 'Go Dawgs!'


Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm

Quick Monday Practice Notes:

Biggest news of the day is that Quinton Richardson was out and playing with the ones during their hour-plus Monday workout. Chris Polk, Jordan Wallace, and Nick Holt were in jerseys and shorts, while Johri Fogerson had pads on and was running/walking stairs during practice. Pete Galbraith had a heavily-taped ankle, and was sitting during the second half of practice.

It was a bit odd to see the service numbers. Since Cody Bruns is expected to redshirt, he was wearing the No. 3 of EWU's Greg Herd, instead of his normal No. 7.

An interesting twist was that LB Tim Tucker was at fullback. Not sure if that had more to do with Holt being out - we'll find out more Tuesday.

Watching the QB's, Keith Price started out slow, but came on late; Nick Montana looked as sharp as I've seen him this fall. He connected with DiAndre Campbell, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Devin Aguilar and Evan Hudson during his session against the twos, and never skipped a beat.

The highlight of the practice was John Timu's 60-yard pick off Montana during a 2's v. 1's drill. He got a hand on it to bat the ball up, then gathered it in and was off to the races.

Also wanted to make sure to point out that former HC Jim Lambright was at practice Monday.


Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm


Keith Price (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Keith Price Monday Press Conference Quotes:

On everyone wanting to know if he's ready: "I'm ready, I'm excited, and I can't wait. I'm too ready, I'm anxious."

On seeing game action for the first time in Husky Stadium: "It's exciting playing at home in front of our home fans. It's going to be full, I can't wait."


On his first training camp as the starting QB
: "It's definitely been different just trying to grasp new concepts every day and new installs – it's been a challenge but I think it went well."


On how much of the playbook they are going to open up for him
: "(Laughing) I think he's going to open it all up."


On how long he's waited for a day like Saturday
: "I've waited my whole life. I started playing football when I was seven so I just can't wait."


On if there's any concerns
: "No, no, I'm just ready to play."


On if he's going to be able to sleep this week
: "I'm going to sleep well. I need my rest so I'm going to make sure I sleep."


On if starting in Eugene last year helped prepare him for this moment
: "I think it was tremendous, you know, it doesn't get any harder than the number one team in the nation so that's just going to better me. I know what to expect, it's not brand new to me and I think that's key."


On how cool he appeared to be in short stints against USC and Nebraska last year
: "Oh I was just having fun. I was hoping that my first touchdown would come against USC and it did so it was a blessing."


On if he had any nervousness when he was asked to step up and play last year
: "No, the SC game I didn't have time to get nervous, it happened (that he played) randomly. I was just ready when my number was called."


On if he notices the team react differently to him smiling and cracking jokes after four years of responding to Locker
: "It's just fun, it seems like the whole team is having fun. It's not a job and I think that's the main thing. Everybody tends to want to focus on winning instead of having fun. Winning is also important, but you can't win unless you're having fun."


On if he's had a moment where Sark has gotten on him because he is the starter
: "Sark is going to get on everybody. It's not just me; it's not just Chris (Polk). If you're doing wrong, he's going to let you know you're doing wrong. He's had his flashes."


On if the fact that Eastern Washington is defending FCS National Champions makes it harder for the team to overlook them
: "Oh yea definitely, they're a good team. I've been watching film on them and they have some good athletes, but we'll be ready for them."


On the fact that Eastern has circled this game on their schedule
: "We're just going to treat them like any other opponent. They can come in here and put a whooping on us if we don't come out with the right state of mind so we're going to make sure that we're ready."


On the weapons at his disposal
: "It makes my job a lot easier, I don't have to throw the ball 45 or 50 times a game. I can hand the ball off to Chris or throw a long one to Jermaine (Kearse) so I have options."


On what his strengths are
: "I'm not sure, we'll see (laughing). We'll see when the game comes."


On the differences schematically between now and when he was in high school
: "I'm a lot more under center than I was in high school so that was an adjustment, other than that I don't know, we'll see. I haven't played in too many games so I'll see. I'll try to compare when I'm out there."


On getting to play the first two games at home
: "It's going to be great. I've yet to play a lot of snaps here at home so I think it'll be good.




Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm


Desmond Trufant (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Desmond Trufant Monday Press Conference Quotes:

Per Eric Dore.

On Eastern Washington's offense: "One of their base formations is 4 wide (receivers) so that means there is going to be a lot of passing so the DB's got to be on top of their game."

On the depth of the DB's: "I think we're strong enough in the secondary and the coaches have confidence in us to do the job."

On what Eastern does differently than other teams: "They take a lot of shots regardless if the guy is covered or not. They'll still throw it up there with confidence that the receiver will come down with the ball, so we just got to be ready even if we're in good coverage, we got to be ready to make a play."

On if playing against a lot of Eastern's players in the high school ranks makes it harder to overlook them: "I don't think we can overlook a team that won a national championship. Plus, I know a lot of these guys and they're good athletes. We respect every team, every opponent we go against so we're definitely not going to overlook them."

On if there is any family bragging rights on the line (older brother Isaiah was a DB at Eastern): "No I haven't even talked to my brother about it, but I'm sure he'll call me about it. It'll be a little bit of trash talk but nothing too major."

On if he followed Eastern while his brother played there: "Yeah my brother was there, they were pretty good when he was there. I think he was first team or second team a couple years so I followed him a lot.

On if he caught any games in person while Isaiah was at Eastern or when his other brother Marcus was at Washington State: "Yeah I've seen a couple games. I was going back and forth from Wazzu to Eastern like every other weekend so I got to see a lot of their games."

On if they expect to play a lot of man coverage this Saturday: "Definitely, that's one of the game plans is man coverage. That's the easiest way to stop 4 wide teams, you can just go man to man, but of course there is going to be some zone. Coach Holt has a lot of great schemes for this game so we'll see what happens."

On any advice he has for true freshman James Sample who may be used in the Dime Package: "I say just not press, don't try to do too much because it's a big game for us and just be calm and collected. Don't overthink things, just do what the coaches tell you to do and you will be alright.

On how much of the momentum of the Holiday Bowl win translates over to this year: "A lot, you know beating a team like Nebraska, I think they're number ten right now in the ranks, so when you beat a team like that it definitely carries over to the off-season. Regardless we got to worry about Eastern and what they like to do and we just got to go in with a lot of confidence and paly hard."

On not having won the opener in his first two years: "I know, we have noticed that. That's been one of our mottos is to try to be 1 – 0 because we lost against LSU and BYU so we got to take it one game at a time and try to get this win."

On the coaches reminding the players about not winning the first game yet since they've been there: "Yeah they've said it, definitely."




Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm


Everrette Thompson (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Everrette Thompson Monday Press Conference Quotes:

Per Scott Panitz.

On how ready he is for the game on Saturday:

"Oh man, I'm real ready. I feel like our coaches are really locking in for this week. They got us prepared through camp and I'm excited to play."

On being done with camp:

"This is my last camp and I'm just excited for the season to start and knowing that this is going to be our first game coming up real fast."

On how the team is going to respond when the lights come on:

"I think our coaches do a great job of preparing us and we're going to do fine under the lights. If we practice well, practice hard like we're coached up to do, we're going to do just fine."

On his expectations for the newcomers such as Kasen Williams and ASJ:

"I feel like what they bring to the table is going to be a nice little changeup, but I feel like they're just going to do their job, they're going to be fine. And some of the guys that have been there, maybe that have redshirted and you haven't seen played, you're going to see them step up in that game. You're going to see, just different names throwing out there like [John] Timu or [Princeton] Fuimaono, some of the young linebackers out there and it's going to be fun."

On his expectations for the defense:

"Defense, play hard. And make plays. Make big plays. I think Coach Sark has been saying it. There's a lot of playmakers on the field now, there's a ton of athletes and I'm expecting some big plays out there, exciting."


Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm


Jermaine Kearse (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Jermaine Kearse Monday Press Conference Quotes:

From Scott Panitz.

On EWU:

"They did win the National Championship last year so you can't look past them because they're going to come over here ready to play and we've got to be expecting that"

On his impressions so far of EWU's defense:

"I've seen a little bit of film. They get around the ball, they cause lots of turnovers, they've got good athletes. They're just overall a good team."

On not being in a position to overlook anyone:

"No, I definitely don't think we're going to overlook them. I think we're just going to take practice day-by-day and just try to work our gameplan and work hard out there."

On his excitement for playing a real game:
"Definitely excited. I mean, being in camp for three weeks, you finally have something to look forward to at the end of the week, so it's definitely something that we're all looking forward to and pretty excited to play."

On playing his last first game:

"It kind of went by fast, but I'm pretty excited. Like I was saying, three weeks in camp, you finally got that one game to look forward to at the end of the week, so we're pretty pumped."

On which player he's most excited to see play on his own team:

"I'll probably say Keith. I'm pretty excited to see how he plays. I played with him against Oregon so I got a little glimpse of what he can do, but to see him really take over this team is going to be exciting to watch."

On how Keith has looked so far in practice:

"He's been looking real good. He's been practicing well, going through his progressions, he's stepping up as a leader and that definitely shows in his gameplay."


Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm


Steve Sarkisian (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Complete Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Notes:

Opening Statement - "OK, it's game week. This is why we do what we do to get to this point. I'm proud of what our kids have been able to accomplish for three weeks of training camp. I think we've evolved as a team. We've come together as a team which is vitally important. And now we are posed with a challenging schedule and season to kick it off against Eastern Washington. I congratulated Coach Baldwin when he won a national championship at the end of the year, and I had to remind myself that we play them at the beginning of this year.

"This is a football team that plys extremely hard. They are very well coached. And because of that, they are opportunistic. I think we saw that in the playoffs, when you watch the games and look at the film. They make the plays at the most opportunistic times to really change games. You have to have good players in place to make that happen.

"Obviously on offense with the quarterback (Bo) Levi Mitchell, the offensive line returning four or five starters, the long rangy tall wide receivers they possess offensively, present challenges.

"Defensively, up front with (Renard) Williams at defensive tackle and the Johnsons (Zach and Matt) at middle linebacker and safety, their defense is really anchored right down the middle, which is where you want to be anchored. That's where your defense has to begin.

"It's an exciting time for us, but yet one that we know is very a challenging. A team that's coming in here with a lot of confidence, that's won a lot of football games. More games than we've won the last two years that's for sure. It will pose a great threat for us that way.

"As far as our football team, where we've come a long way, in my opinion, is just the depth. The simple fact that we are going to play more bodies than we ever have at wide receiver, at defensive line, at linebacker, at safety and play guys earlier in the ballgame, not waiting. You are going to see guys in the third series of the game. You are going to see a lot of different numbers. That's the beauty of creating depth on your roster and playing guys and giving them opportunities to play. I think you'll see that as a little different bit of a change of who we are and what we've been the last couple of years.

"We do not yet know the status of Polk, Richardson or Fogerson. We'll assess them as the week goes on. We'd like to make some form of a decision, at least internally at least by Wednesday, but that remains to be seen, so we'll see where we go from there.

"As for the punter, Rasp and Mahan will both punt. Hopefully we don't punt too many times. You never like sending your punting unit out there. You'll see both those guys punting.

"Some other notes … The goal for us this year is to redshirt Cody Bruns for a lot of reason, some personal, some strategic on our part. It would be great to have a veteran leader, senior wide receiver next year as we graduate some seniors this year. Because of the depth at the position and some of the things in his personal life, we think that's the best thing for him and the best thing for us. We'll see how that goes.

"As far as other redshirts on our roster, there's some really easier decisions to make. The Kasen Williams', the Austin Seferian-Jenkins', the Danny Shelton's, those guys are going to play. There's a lot of easier ones to make of guys that are ensuring of redshirts. And then we've got some gray areas on some guys that we are going to have to make some tough decisions on here throughout this week and then potentially into next week and the week after that as they develop. Some of those guys are obviously are a Bishop Sankey, a James Sample, a Marcus Peters, some guys that are on the cusp and kind of in and out of the two-deep and with injuries and what-not how that plays.

"The last thing I want to do is have a kid play and have him get 18 or 20 snaps on a year. That's not worth it for him and that's not worth it for us in the long run. We have to make sure it's worth their while, it's worth our while, that they are getting substantial time where they can benefit this year from playing. If not, I know the majority of these kids can benefit from this year from redshirting for the long run of this program and where we are headed. We'll have to make some tough decisions as the week goes on.

"I do feel like this ball game traditionally is one when you kick off the season and it's your first ball game, so much of the stuff concerning on my end, is the line of scrimmage, the false starts, the illegal procedures, defensive linemen lined up in the neutral zone, the timing on stuff like fly sweeps and things we like to do – to make sure that stuff is on point. Things can go astray when you are starting first and 15 because of a false start or you are fumbling a snap, or an exchange on a fly sweep. Those things will really be our focus throughout this week and to make sure we are clean at the line of scrimmage come Saturday. And also that are our energy, our enthusiasm and our effort is right come Saturday. Of course we want to do things right. I want to make sure our energy is right, our enthusiasms is right and our effort is right when we come out to play Saturday afternoon.

"And lastly, it's going to be great to get out in front of our fans. To be in Husky Stadium for the final season of this place and to kick it off an in-state opponent – Eastern Washington – it's an exciting time. I think our kids are really going to embrace the atmosphere, and we are hopeful our fans embrace the ball game as well."

On getting to that point where the team needs to hit someone else - "Well, that's natural. It's about that time. Some of our guys don't get sick of hitting anything. They'll hit whatever they can. It's time. It's about that time. That's why training camp has traditionally been about three weeks for college football and then you've got to get ready for a ball game."

What's the biggest difference at the FCS level vs the FBS level - "I think the ultimate thing is depth, just naturally. Having the X number of players in place that when injuries occur you can replace them and we're starting to finally have that luxury ourselves. SO I don't' think it's so much the front line guys as much as it's the depth factor. You're going to see Demetrius Bronson running the ball for them on Saturday and running well like he ran for us here in practices and scrimmages and whatnot. For a variety of reasons guys end up at FCS schools, especially good ones like Eastern Washington and when the coaching staff like Eastern's with coach Baldwin can bring that thing together and get guys believing in their culture and style of play, they can be pretty good. That's what they've developed there and to their credit they've got a good football team."

Renard Williams do you have any idea who he is - "He's really disruptive. For a big man he's an excellent pass rusher. He does a nice job with his spin move and using suddenness and when he gets 1 on 1 opportunities on guards he can cause havoc."

On EWU's passing attack, and who they resemble - "Probably Washington State's. Washington State's and maybe Arizona's to where they get in their four-wide sets and really spread you out and keep dinking and dunking the ball and getting completions and completions and completions and you finally come up and bump ‘em and get in ‘em and then they've got those big tall wide receivers and throw a lot of fades and receiver screens to those guys and they make their plays."

On following EWU when they were making their title run - "This isn't the biggest state so you have to support one another. A lot of those are in-state kids and kids that we've had in camp or known through the recruiting process and you wish them the best of luck. They earned it, they deserved it. It's good for the state of Washington that they did what they did.

On dumbing down the schedule - "I don't think it's disappointing. I think that's college football. It's Pac-12 football really for us, you are talking a nine-game conference schedule. We are the only conference in the country that does that, and it's a good schedule, a hard one, a tough one and so the reality of it is you look at our conference the last two years, we haven't filled our bowl slots - I think we have seven available to us and we can't get but 4-5 teams eligible for bowl games. And so I think you are seeing that trend occur more now where teams are willing to play FCS schools and not to guarantee a win per se but just not to be so beat up. You go and play a top-tier Big Ten team, a top-tier Big 12 team, a top-tier SEC team and maybe it may not be so much that game alone but a factor of what it can do to your roster moving forward and guys getting beat up.''

On being frustrated about all the injuries UW's had - "No, I'm not frustrated. They were fluky deals. It wasn't about the wear and tear --- it's not like we have a bunch of sore shoulders or concussions or things. We had a physical camp and we had a couple of fluky deals where guys got injured. Johri's hip flexor occurs scoring a touchdown in a mock game where nobody's near him. Quinton, it's a 50-50 ball on a fade and Kasen happens to fall on him awkwardly to do it. And Chris is making a cut and we don't know if that's even when the injury occurred or if that's just where he aggravated it. So I think we are a very fresh football team. I'm not frustrated about that. Our kids are upbeat, they are enthusiastic, they are flying around when we are going. So I don't feel fatigue by any means or sore as a football team. I feel very good about us.''

On a big area of emphasis from last year to this year - "Just the special teams. We really emphasized it and worked on it. We've put a lot of time and effort and special situations to do that, so that's been a special focus for us.''

On when he started telling the team that they haven't won an opener so far for him - "Since spring ball.''

On how often he does said badgering - "Every day.''

On rotating at QB - ''Nope, no.''

On how the offensive line is going to be - "I think we've settled in Hugh. I like what we've got with Senio and then Colin Tanigawa next to him and Schaefer at center and with Porter and Kohler on the right side. I like where we're at. We won't be shuffling around much there.''

What do you need to see out of Chris Polk this week? - "That he's healthy. I need to see that he's healthy. I need to see that there's no swelling. I need to see him play full speed. I need to see him cut. I don't necessarily need to see him take a hit; I know he's a tough kid. But I need to make sure that he's healthy. This is not just about Saturday; this is about October, November as well. So I just need to see him healthy, doing the stuff that I know I've seen him do before. He's a tough kid. I've seen him play through injury before. But I want him to be healthy on this deal."

Are any of these guys closer than the others - Polk, Quinton Richardson, Jorhi Fogerson? - "I don't know yet."

On Polk's timeline
- "There's no timeline for it. Everybody's body's different. We don't know. We don't know how he was going to heal. He's just been kind of getting better. He hasn't had any setbacks, which is a good thing."

On what needed to get fixed on special teams - "It was all of it. Every phase of it. I don't like the fact that we got a couple fakes ran on us on field-goal block the last couple years. I don't like the fact that we haven't had a very good return team the last couple years. I don't like the fact that we haven't covered kickoffs like I think we can the last couple years. Every phase of special teams has been really pointed to to areas of improvement in all of our phases. I think we can be a better return team. I think we can be a better coverage unit. I think we can be better at blocking kicks. The fact that we haven't blocked a kick in two years is a little disturbing to me with the athletes we have in place. And I think the fact that we've only blocked one field goal in two years. We should be better at that stuff, and it's been a point of emphasis."

On using less freshmen this year - "Without a doubt. You're seeing the true freshmen numbers a lot lower. But also, you're seeing those guys get more experienced in those phases of the game. So they might not be frontline starters on defense, but they really understand what we're asking them in the special teams categories."

Will Erik Folk continue to kick off? - "Yes."

Will you have one punt returner, or more than one? - "Yeah, it will be different situations within the game, if we're backed up and different things. So you'll see Kasen, you'll see Devin. Those will be our two frontline guys. Our other guys are steadily getting better, but I feel most comfortable with those two guys."

On Keith Price being a running quarterback, or a more complete player - "Oh, I think he's very complete. I actually think of him more as a passer than a runner, without a doubt. He's a definite pocket passer, movement passer. I wouldn't think that his most dangerous and first threat is his legs, by any means."

On Cort's leadership - "He's been fantastic, but he's grown into it. It's taken time. He's had an opportunity to learn from Donald Butler, from Mason Foster…but he's a tremendous leader. He exudes everything that we want our players to embody. And he's been great."

On his improvement as a player - "Pretty good. He was fourth in the conference in tackles last year, and nobody really wanted to write about it and didn't get a whole lot of votes for All-Conference…but that's pretty good for a middle linebacker."

On James Johnson and getting a starting spot - "He's earned it. I think he's had a tremendous training camp. But again, you guys have seen us enough now, all six of those guys are going to play. You're going to see all six of those receivers in the first quarter of this ball game on Saturday. They are all playing, and they'll all have opportunities to makes catches and make their plays. But I do think James has earned it."

On the tight ends - "They are both going to play."

On one question standing above all others unanswered - "The biggest one is - who are we on game day. Who is this 2011 Husky football team when you come out of the tunnel, thousands of people are in the stands, the lights are on…who are we? Are we the same team that we were on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday? Or do we change, and I have to tweak that? The goal is, we don't change. We're that team. I think that's who we are, but the biggest question is - until that happens on Saturday, that's my biggest question mark. Are we the same guys that we were all training camp that as a staff we fell in love with - we love the camaraderie, we love the energy, we love the enthusiasm, we love the effort. Or, do some of our guys sit back because all of a sudden it's game day. I don't envision that happening. I don't think we'll ever talk that way, but you've seen it a lot of times with teams - sometimes you put on the real uniform it can change a little bit. I'm hopeful that won't occur, and I believe it won't occur, but until I actually get a chance to see it, it remains to be seen."

On the DL being game-changers - "I think there's playmakers that can. You talk about Jamora coming off the edge, you talk about Shirley coming off the edge, you talk about what Alameda can do to disrupt a run game, or Danny Shelton to disrupt a run game. But they have to do it for me to get to say that they can. We saw flashes of it late in the year last year, but I'm challenging them this year to see if they can be - if they can be that much of a consistent factor, to see if our defensive line can have that much of an effect. What they bring versus our offense in a 9-on-7 drill is the same thing they bring come Saturday afternoon at four-oh-whatever kickoff is."

On having to watch film of EWU on their red turf - "I'm glad we are playing on our green ... grass ... field -- whatever that is. It's a little bit distracting."

On Coach Holt saying he got dizzy watching EWU game film because of the red turf - "We all get a little dizzy, by that point."

How is Price now at understanding and reading defenses - "I think he's awesome, awesome -- at least the way we want him to read it, you know? He's grown up in this system, and it's a real good credit to Doug Nussmeier in training this guy. From where he was the first day of training camp his freshman year to where he is now, he's been fantastic. Now, again, just the other positions I've talked about, sometimes on game days that doesn't always translate with guys. They can be great in practice, great in the meeting room -- all that stuff. Then all of a sudden here comes the game and it has to translate. So that's the little bit of the unknown. But he's done nothing to show us or tell us that he's going to be that way. I think he's going to be really locked in to what we are doing. He's going to be focused. He's going to play with great tempo, great sense of urgency and he's going to have a lot of fun. That's the way he is. The important part for us is to realize that when he does get out of his comfort zone is to, 1., recognize that and, 2., get him back into it. That's going to be challenge come Saturday."

On being able to use the Oregon start at all in Price's preparation for this year - "Not a whole lot. Not a whole lot. We were able to look at a few things, good plays he made and a few he didn't. But, no, I really tend to a lot of times (say) last year was last year. And players evolve, they grow, they mature mentally and physically. We've kind of moved forward. He's a better player than he was at that point last year, that's for sure."

On still seeing significant jumps in Price's improvement - "Sure, sure. Without a doubt. His ability to take to coaching is there. I thought that early on in training camp he was pressing a little bit, trying to make all the plays. I think the second half of training camp he really settled down. His completion percentage has gone up and up and up. So he has evolved -- and he will continue to evolve in games. I think he's going to do really well, I really do. I've gotten no indication to think that he's going to come out Saturday, or a week from Saturday, or week from that, that he's not going to perform. But, not every game is going to be his best ball game. So there are going to be points in these games that he's going to have to learn from. There are going to be games that he's going to have to learn from. And that's going to be his biggest challenge, that he can find that level of consistency that he is going to feel good going into every Saturday believing in what we are doing, and believing in himself."

Have you adjusted your offense to account for a shorter quarterback? - "We'?ve tweaked it a little bit without giving away what we?re doing. I think we?'ve done stuff that fits Keith Price within our system, and we?ve emphasized those things a little bit more. He?s got an extremely quick release. That?s helped him, not being the tallest guy. Most guys that aren?t real tall, if they?'ve got a long delivery, that?s when balls have a tendency to get batted down, but he?s got a very quick release, he can make awkward throws, he doesn'?t throw from the same angle every time. He can kind of come a little sidearm or over the top if he needs to. But we?'ve done some things I think that have helped him to do the things that he does well. I think that?s the beauty of the system, is that we?'ve got enough flexibility to fit our personnel and not just be stubborn and say we have to keep doing the same things over and over."?

On if he's to the point where he can just go out and play, or if he's still having to think the position - "Five days. He'?s got to play a game. I don?t know how you want me to answer it. He better be ready. We'?re playing."?

What makes ASJ and Kasen Williams good enough to play now? - "Their mental toughness. You know kids are talented. You can tell that the first practice, but you also know that as freshmen, they?re going to have some ups and downs. They?re going to get knocked on their tails a couple times. They?re going to forget plays. They?re going to line up wrong, the vets are going to rib them and give them a hard time here and there. But those two kids are really mentally tough. They?re competitive. They want to be great. So I was impressed. I was waiting for that kind of lull in the middle of training camp, but they powered right through it. They came to work every day with the mindset of they?re playing this fall. And they proved it and they earned it.?

Are you going to change any coaching roles this year during game day? - "No, we?re going to keep it as we have done. But I think now more so than ever, I felt it during a couple of our scrimmages, then into the mock game this past week, our line of communication is just even better. Our wavelengths are really tied in, knowing what each other are thinking, and it?s being expressed and there?s less words to be said to know what somebody?s trying to get across to you, and that?s especially important for the playcaller on offense and the playcaller on defense and coach Holt, to know that what Doug is trying to get across to me, or Danny Cozzetto, or Jeff Mills to Nick. It can happen even quicker. I have a feeling of what they?re already wanting to tell me. And so I don?t have to wait for a dissertation. I can get one or two words and I can move on to the call."


Chris Fetters
8/29/2011
10:00 pm


QB Keith Price (K.Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Washington's Depth Chart vs. EWU

DEFENSE:

WR - Jermaine Kearse 6-2 208, Sr., Lakewood, Wash./Lakes
Kasen Williams 6-2 212, Fr., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

LT - Senio Kelemete 6-4 301, Sr., Seattle, Wash./Evergreen
Micah Hatchie 6-5 285, RFr., Haleiwa, Hawai'i/Waialua

LG - Colin Tanigawa 6-3 297, RFr., Pasadena, Calif./Loyola
Nick Wood 6-3 303, Sr., Poway, Calif./Poway

Center - Drew Schaefer 6-4 301, Jr., Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake
Mike Criste 6-5 280, RFr., Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo

RG - Colin Porter 6-4 322, So., Bothell, Wash./Bothell
Skyler Fancher 6-6 301, Sr., Costa Mesa, Calif./Huntington Beach OR
James Atoe 6-6 337, RFr, The Dalles, Ore./The Dalles-Wahtonka

RT - Erik Kohler 6-5 298, So., Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian
Ben Riva 6-6 300, RFr., Seattle, Wash./O'Dea

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins 6-6 258, Fr., Fox Island, Wash./Gig Harbor OR
Michael Hartvigson 6-6 254, RFr., Bothell, Wash./Bothell
Evan Hudson 6-6 260, RFr., Bothell, Wash./Bothell OR
Marlion Barnett 6-2 224, So., Corona, Calif./Santiago

QB - Keith Price 6-1 195, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco
Nick Montana 6-3 203, RFr., Thousand Oaks, Calif./Oaks Christian
Derrick Brown 6-3 236, Fr., Winchester, Calif./Vista Murrieta

FB - Jonathan Amosa 5-11 230, Jr., Seattle, Wash./Rainier Beach
Nick Holt 5-11 220, Fr., Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep OR
Dezden Petty 5-11 214, Fr., Carson, Calif./Gardena

TB - Chris Polk 5-11 222, Jr., Redlands, Calif./East Valley
Jesse Callier 5-10 200, So., Downey, Calif./Warren
Johri Fogerson 6-1 205, Sr., Kent, Wash./O'Dea
Bishop Sankey 5-10 193, Fr., Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep

WR - Devin Aguilar 6-0 195, Sr., Denver, Colo./Mullen OR
Kevin Smith 6-0 209, So., Compton, Calif./Centennial

WR -
James Johnson 6-1 198, Jr., Valley Center, Calif./Valley Center
DiAndre Campbell 6-1 195, RFr., Oakland, Calif./Oakland Tech


DEFENSE:

DE - Talia Crichton 6-3 255, Jr.,Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood
Andrew Hudson 6-3 231, RFr., Redlands, Cailf./Redlands East Valley

DT - Alameda Ta'amu 6-3 337, Sr., Kent, Wash./Rainier Beach
Danny Shelton 6-1 334, Fr., Auburn, Wash./Auburn
Lawrence Lagafuaina 6-0 329, RFr., Aiea, Hawai'i/Aiea, Hawai'i

DT -
Everrette Thompson 6-6 272, Sr., Renton, Wash./Kennedy
Sione Potoae 6-2 276, So., Fort Lewis, Wash./Lakes
Semisi Tokolahi 6-2 334, Jr., Hilo, Hawai'i/Hilo

DE - Hauoli Jamora 6-3 247, So., Laie, Hawai'i/Kahuku
Josh Shirley 6-3 229, RFr., Fontana, Calif./Kaiser

OLB - John Timu 6-1 220, Fr., Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Jordan
Jamaal Kearse 6-2 224, RFr., Lakewood, Wash./Lakes
Cooper Pelluer 6-3 225, So., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline


MIK
- Cort Dennison 6-1 234 Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah/Judge Memorial
Thomas Tutogi 6-1 244, So., Chula Vista, Calif./Southwestern JC
Tim Tucker 6-1 240, So., Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne


OLB - Princeton Fuimaono 6-1 215, So., Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Jordan
Garret Gilliland 6-0 226, So., Anaheim, Calif./Orange Lutheran
Jordan Wallace 6-0 237, Jr. Sacramento Calif//Grant

FS - Nathan Fellner 6-1 201, Jr., Fresno, Calif./Clovis West
Justin Glenn 5-11 206, Jr., Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak
Taz Stevenson 6-1 203, So., Mililani, Hawai'i/Mililani

SS - Sean Parker 5-10 202, So., Los Angeles, Calif./Narbonne
Will Shamburger 6-0 192, So., Compton, Calif./St. John Bosco
James Sample 6-2 191, Fr., Sacramento, Calif./Grant
Greg Walker 5-10 203, Jr., Bellflower, Calif./St. Bernard

CB - Quinton Richardson 6-0 203, Sr., Renton, Wash./O'Dea
Gregory Ducre 5-10 173, So., Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw

CB - Desmond Trufant 6-0 184, Jr., Tacoma, Wash./Wilson
Anthony Gobern 5-11 187, Jr., Fair Oaks, Calif./Del Campo
Marcus Peters 5-11 185, Fr., Oakland, Calif./McClymonds


SPECIAL TEAMS:

Punter - Kiel Rasp 6-3 225, Sr., Seattle, Wash./Nathan Hale OR
Will Mahan 5-11 196, Sr., Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield College


PK - Erik Folk 5-11 185, Sr., Woodland Hills, Calif./Notre Dame

Long Snap - Brendan Lopez 6-0 231, Sr., Bellevue, Wash./Michigan

Holder - William Chandler 6-0 191, So., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline

KOR - Kevin Smith 6-0 209, So., Compton, Calif./Centennial
Jesse Callier 5-10 200, So., Downey, Calif./Warren

PR - Devin Aguilar 6-0 195, Sr., Denver, Colo./Mullen OR
Kasen Williams 6-2 212, Fr., Sammamish, Wash./Skyline




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